I’m trying to decide which parts of our Vermont Adventure I want to remember for all time. Monkey getting sick at the first rest stop in New Jersey? Her strong heart and amazing spirit are shown by that example, but it isn’t exactly a fun memory.
How ’bout remembering that I lost Kel and Paula within 3 minutes of leaving their house as we began the drive north? They had gotten a new vehicle, and I didn’t memorize the butt of it quickly enough. I have it memorized now, though.
I definitely want to remember that the cd of choice in their van was the “Annie” soundtrack. In our car, Monkey and Taryn sang their hearts out to a cd that Taryn’s family sent us years ago. That’s a great memory.
Learning that Kelly adores pickles, as do I, and we’re trying to share that with our children.
The beauty of Mount Abe. The generous spirit of Chris’ family, the giggles and laughter from the children and the adults all week long. Watching our children share their sense of maple syrup history with their friends. Seeing our kids suiting up to play on the big rock, on which Gem kids have played for decades, hours spent sledding, falling in the snow, rolling down the hill, making up stories, playing Kirby, paint-by-numbers, great meals, more stories, Ben and Jerry’s, seeing Chris’ best friend from high school at the grocery store, drinking lots of wine, more great food.
I want to remember it all. Luckily, Paula took over 600 pictures, so there is much to be used as a memory-jog.
Snuggles before we begin our long drive home.
Paula and I did some wood splitting for fun.
Enjoying mud season.
Playing a game in the sunny kitchen.
Games at Uncle Scott’s new store: Tinker and Smithy.
That gorgeous, gorgeous view.
Kel getting in touch with her fire-starter side.
Painting in the kitchen.
Contemplating the sugar maple.
Preparing the trees.
Look at those pink cheeks!
Games with Grandma by the fire…Heaven!
I love the “James Bond” music in the video. Not sure how to make it not be sideways, but enjoy anyway!
Tastes better than soda.
Laughter in the sunny cold. (This may have been the time Monkey’s leg was trapped and we had to dig her out.)
Ben and Jerry’s Graveyard of Flavors.
Ben and Jerry’s Fun.
Our Monday night dinner together.
Our first stop at the Vermont Country Store on the way north.
Monkey, Paula, and I LOVE this place. The rest of the team was willing to go with us.
Snuggled at our hotel in Albany on Sunday night.
The room was wonderfully huge!
This is so Star Trekky! Taryn is showing her whole family the snow in real time while I take a picture of them to appear on my blog for them to read later. Infinity!
Some snowy fun.
Visiting by the fire.
Love the people, love the view!
Stoking the fire is my very favorite job.
Strawberry cheesecake ice cream sample at B&J’s.
Preparing to go tap trees.
Happy, happy sap tappers.
Kelly with a drill. Look out trees.
One of the kind souls who opened her home for a week to strangers who quickly became friends and even gave up her bed for the week!
She survived the sled ride!
Tapping in the tap. Tap, tap.
We’re all just so darn cute in the snow, all bundled up.
Listening to Nonni knowledge.
Bucket hanging glamour shot.
We look like an Outward Bound class.
Working for our supper.
Snuggled with a book by the fire. Such a great life!
Watched sap does boil!
The early fruits of our labors. Little Mother was so kind in making sure each of us had syrup to take home with us from the sap we helped gather. That meant a lot.
At the game store on Little Papa’s birthday.
Preparing to give a wood chopping lesson.
This picture summarizes so many things: Kate dancing along to the song in her head. Bets guiding Yessa along, which Yessa loves, and Buster and me trailing along behind, me listening to a story he has to share. Love this one.
On top of the beloved rock.
On our last night, the moon was nearly full and the water rushing in the river was thunderously loud. We all made time to stand on the deck to enjoy it and be awed.
Enjoying sugar on snow. So many parts of this trip felt like walking through a Little House On The Prairie book, this activity included.
My fourth child was a wonderful addition to the family.
Happy Sugar On Snow faces.
Rolling down the hill.
Sunny and snowy and smiley.
Happy to be together.
Everyone enjoys it!
Trying for a family shot.
Fun in the sun on the side deck.
Hauling more buckets. Notice the t-shirt sleeves. It got warm!
Out to eat to celebrate our week on our last night together.
Walking to the car from dinner on the last night. We’ve added another kid to the mix!
Wine, sun, snow, and smiles.
I just love this picture.
We take up a whole sidewalk.
We take up a whole sidewalk.
Our generous, gracious, kind, loving hosts.
The one child to complete her very intricate paint-by-number by the end of the week.
L.M. by the evaporator.
The glorious lion sunning its mane on the family rock.
The pink mountain
Signs of a successful day.
Dumping the buckets.
L.M.’s round wood pile. We were all impressed!
More of the rock appearing as the snow melts.
It was definitely Mud Season for part of our time there.
There were some famous basketball player sightings during our time in Albany.
Puppy pile in our last hotel all together.
No matter where you go and what you do, take a friend along for the adventure.
This photo by Louisa.
You can read Taryn’s post about our week here. She does a great job explaining the sap gathering process.
It was a magical week. I’m so glad we finally made it happen.